Need advice for a front end

I'm currently considering a new front end and seeking advice. My considerations are either a Cary 303 or a Meridian 508.24 (or similar quality). My budget is under 2k and my system now is: Magnepan 1.6, Odyssey amp, Rogue 66 pre, Cal Sigma dac, and Sony 7700 dvd. I'd still use the Sony for video but want better sound for music. Thanks in advance for any advice. Brad
Bradz, The Meridian sounds like a very safe bet - also, I heard that one dealer mentioned it sounds better than the new Meridian 588 player. Another few you may want to consider is BAT (Balanced Audio Technology) VKd5 - should be able to get one used for around the $2k level. Another one is the YBA CD1. I just got a steal on a YBA CD1 Alpha - it's an amazing piece (I got it for $1,600 but was very lucky to get that price). Finally, if you can swing it, you may want to try the Naim CDX - supposed to be very special, if a litte over your budget. Good luck. John.
the 303 and 508 are both great. i own the latter but have listened to the cary many times. i'd say try 'em both at home if you can...if not, go for the cheaper one (probably the 303)'ll be happy either way.
One of the best "deals" on cd players that I have seen is the parasound belt drive (cbd/2000) since you have a dac it works as a wonderful transport-the parasound was built by cec($$$) and you can find it used for about $750. I have compared it to the 508.24 and the 500 and felt it was at least the meridian's equal. As always try to home trial whatever you want to buy whenever possible. If YOU can't hear the difference why spend 2-3 times as much for a transport.
Good Luck
I saw an Electrocompaniet EMC 1 on auction for $2200 the other day, if you can swing the extra $200 I'm sure you'll be happy with it. Not to offend anybody but the EMC 1 beat both the Meridian and the Cary in my ears.Search the forums and you'll see a lot of regulars here agree with me.Happy Hunting.
What were the differences in sound between the Cary and the Meridian s2k dude? Do both of the units have upsampling?
I did hear the Electrocompaniet EMC about 2 years ago in a dealer in London,England and loved the analog sound of the unit. Think it may be out of my budget though.
brad, i am reluctant to specify differences in sound between these two players because i've never A/B'ed them on the same equipment. as i said, i've heard both and both sounded good on the equipment they were paired with. sorry i can't be of more help.
Another vote for the Electrocompaniet EMC-1, especially in MkII guise....
I've decided to go with the Cary 303 as it is more in my budget. Should receive the unit next week and was wondering about a ic for it. Any recommendations?